FIFA rankings: Argentina stays on top

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Zurich, Jan 17: Argentina remained the top-ranked team in FIFA rankings and the rest of the top 15 stayed unchanged.

Brazil remained second, followed by world champion Italy, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Netherlands and Croatia. European champion Greece stayed 11th and England remained 12th. Meanwhile, India slipped one place to 144th in the first FIFA rankings of the year.India and Yemen swapped places from the 2007 year-end chart and this also means India slipping one place to 27th among the AFC countries.

Despite the one-place loss, it is much a better rank for India as compared to last year beginning when India were ranked 157th in January 2007 chart.
Maldives are the next best South Asian country on 153rd while Pakistan, Sri Lanka , Bangladesh and Nepal are at 163rd, 167th, 168th and 186th, respectively.

Among the Asian countries, Japan (34)continued to lead the pack followed by Iran (41), Korea(41), Australia (48) and Saudi Arabia (57).

Meanwhile ,FIFA will hold a draw to determine the order of matches in two World Cup 2010 qualifying groups after the teams involved failed to reach agreement by the Jan. 16 deadline.

The draw will involve European qualifying Group Two (Greece, Israel, Switzerland, Moldova, Latvia and Luxembourg) and Group Five (Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia and Estonia).

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